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California Temporarily Closes all 280 State Parks to Vehicular Access

Apparently social distancing means stay home or the state will fine you

As of Sunday March 29th, the State of California announced the temporary closure to vehicular access of all 280 state parks. To confuse matters it seems that the parks aren't necessarily closed to foot traffic, just those bound to vehicles. California claims, "With the exception of closed parks, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Day-use restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advise[d] to bring soap for handwashing and to use alcohol-based sanitizers when water is not available."

We assume they are referencing hiking trails when they mention trails above? So you could, theoretically drive to said open parks, park illegally on public or private property, and go for a hike.

Social Distancing to Flatten the Curve

We get that social distancing is a great way to "flatten the curve" and thus slow the effects of corona virus on public health, but we are having a hard time accepting that keeping people from dispersing in state parks in vehicles while following social distancing protocols accomplishes much other than the questionable limitation of our rights as Americans. It's a slippery slope. What if the closure isn't temporary?

California Saves Americans From Themselves

Here is some more language directly from California State Parks helping save Californians from themselves.

"As such, the public is reminded to adhere to the following guidance:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Stay close to home when you get outdoors. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.
  • Venture out only with people in your immediate household.
  • Walk around the neighborhood and enjoy neighborhood parks.
  • Always maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors. If you cannot maintain physical distancing, leave the park.
  • Do not congregate in parks.

To date, the department has implemented various safety measures such as temporarily closing all campgrounds, museums, and visitor centers in the State Parks system; cancelling all events; and closing vehicular traffic at certain parks and beaches, and fully closing others."

For more right from the source check out: http://www.parks.ca.gov/NewsRelease/947

The BLM Sings Another Tune

Ironically the BLM has posts on its Facebook page encouraging folks to use BLM land. This is despite some of the areas under BLM control being closed to use:

"Looking for the best place for #socialdistancing? The more than 245 million acres of #publiclands managed by the Bureau of Land Management can provide that distance, but please do it safely and responsibly!"

Confused yet? We are. Especially after spending time with family out in nature in a secluded spot yesterday where we interacted with exactly zero other people.

Until then here are a bunch of photos from Ocotillo Wells.

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